Participants at the 2014 Global Landscapes Forum reported in a survey that the involvement of the private sector – both in plenary speaking roles and contributions to Discussion Forums – was a strength of the event. After the Forum, participants from both private and public sector institutions identified several key issues that they would like to debate in more details. Access to finance for rural communities is inadequate and comes at high interest rates. Similarly, current levels of funding for REDD+ and other conservation and climate initiatives are insufficient and unreliable. From an investor’s point of view, investment risks in land use businesses remain high and existing tools to reduce these are sparce.
Facilitated by the Global Landscapes Forum in 2015 (see Global Landscapes Forum: The Investment Case), a growing multi-stakeholder movement seeks to harness the influence of the financial sector to transform rural landscapes. Investors and financial service providers can proactively support the development of more sustainable rural landscapes – and they show increasing interest to do so.
Following these topics, 2015 sessions addressed:
- Corporate sustainable value chains and tracking no-deforestation commitments;
- Impacts of Sustainable and Responsible Investments (SRI) tools for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance;
- Progress in the capitalization and operations of the Green Climate Fund;
- Critical changes in the financial framework;
- Policy, fiscal and legal reforms: taxation, subsidies, tariffs and perverse incentives;
- Assessing the impact of investments on communities, livelihoods and ecosystems;
- Private sector engagement in REDD+;
- Closing the REDD+ finance gap;
- Real potential for payments for ecosystem services to deliver at scale;
- Innovative financing mechanisms;
- Financing mitigation and adaptation in agricultural landscapes.